LAST UPDATE: 04/01/20 at 10:30 AM
ESASD Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
It is the desire of the Board of Education and the Administration to keep our community informed regarding our school district’s COVID-19 preparedness and response.
Beginning 5:00 PM on Sunday, March 29, 2020, the school district began its Learn from Home operating phase. Therefore, this FAQ has been replaced by our Learn from Home Support page.
*** Please see these pages for subject specific information ***
If you have a question that is not answered on this page or one of the FAQ pages listed above, please visit our Learn from Home Support page, where you can request assistance.
APRIL 1, 2020
Q: When will schools reopen?
A: At the order of Governor Wolf, all Pennsylvania schools will remain closed until further notice.
MARCH 29, 2020
Q: Can new students be registered?
A: Yes! The Office of Child Accounting will begin scheduling virtual student enrollment appointments using the Zoom video conferencing platform the week of March 30. Check our online registration page throughout the week for more information.
MARCH 25, 2020 - SEE THE SUBJECT SPECIFIC FAQs AT THE TOP OF PAGE
MARCH 24, 2020 (ORIGINALLY POSTED MARCH 23, 2020) UPDATED
Q: How long will schools be closed?
A: The governor's order extends closures through at least April 6, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, but that doesn't mean school closures won't be extended further.
When it’s determined that students can return to school, administrators, teachers and other staff will be given two days to prepare classrooms, set up cafeterias, schedule transportation and arrange other business operations. Students would return on the third day, April 9, according to the Department of Education, which is our Spring Break. Therefore, the earliest students would return is Tuesday, April 14 -- if nothing changes.
Q: How will new student registrations be handled during the mandated closure?
A: The school district is working to launch a completely virtual student registration process. This process will ensure that new students and those registered just prior to the closure are provided with access to online instruction. More information will be released as it becomes available.
Q: Will there be another opportunity to come to school and pick up personal belongings?
A: If you have personal belongings at school that you wish to pickup, please complete this survey.
Q: Can I still receive a FREE school meal kit at my bus stop if I did not request one on the survey?
A: Yes. The survey was used to estimate the quantity of meal kits to load on each bus route. We appreciate the many responses we received! But you can still request meal kits at your bus stop. We will continue to adjust meal production daily to meet demand.
NOTE: All school meals are prepared daily in our ServSafe® certified kitchens by qualified food service support staff.
MARCH 20, 2020
Q: Is the school district going to extend the school year to try to meet the 180-day instructional time requirement?
A: While the governor has made it clear that school districts will not be penalized for failing to meet that requirement, the Board of Education will make a decision at a later time about this year’s school calendar.
MARCH 19, 2020
Q: Why is the school district planning to provide online instruction starting March 30 if the governor only closed schools for two weeks?
A: School district officials expect, but do not know, that the governor’s closure of all public schools in Pennsylvania might be extended at the end of this two week closure. Since it takes several days to put our online education plan for thousands of students into effect, we are doing so now to be prepared for a longer closure.
THIS QUESTION HAS BEEN UPDATED ABOVE
Q: Is the school district going to cancel “Spring Recess” or extend the school year to try to meet the 180-day instructional time requirement?
A: No. The governor has made it clear that school districts will not be penalized for failing to meet that requirement. Furthermore, the Board of Education has expressed no interest in changing the school calendar at this time. Our goal is simply to provide the best educational opportunities for our students under the present circumstances, as quickly as possible.
Q: When the school district begins delivering school meals to bus stops on Monday, March 23, will the pickup locations remain open?
A: Yes. In addition to delivering school lunches to existing bus stops, the pickup locations at High School - North, High School - South and Middle Smithfield Elementary will remain open between 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM.
More information about the school meal delivery schedule will be provided by this weekend.
Q: Are state assessments still going to occur?
A: No. The Secretary of Education announced today that “all assessments are cancelled for this year.”
MARCH 17, 2020
Q: Will the district offer instruction during the closure?
A: Everyone’s foremost concern should be the health and safety of themselves and their family. On or before Monday, March 23, the school district will provide access to a collection of educational resources designed to help students remain engaged.
The district is awaiting further information from the Department of Education before expanding our East Stroudsburg Area Cyber Academy, since the governor has also shut down all cyber-charter schools.
Q: My student is educated by Colonial Intermediate Unit 20. What guidance have they provided about supporting my child while school is closed?
A: CLICK HERE to view a copy of the March 15, 2020 letter from Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 to IU20 families.
MARCH 16, 2020
Q: Will tonight’s Board Meeting be cancelled?
A: No. But, in harmony with current CDC guidance to practice social distancing and to limit gatherings to 10 persons or less, the meeting will be streamed live on YouTube. If you have questions unrelated to agenda items, such as the Coronavirus, please use the link at the top of this page to submit such questions.
Q: Will the school year and/or marking period be extended?
Will students learn online?
What happens after this initial 10-day closure?
Will prom, senior trip and/or graduation be cancelled?
A: The answers to these questions will be addressed during the 10-day closure and beyond as more information and direction is provided by the Governor, Department of Health and Department of Education.
Q: Can I get into the school to pick up my personal items, including medications?
A: Yes. Our schools will be open for this on Tuesday and Thursday of this week between 1 PM and 8 PM. If you wish to pick up a medication, you must call the Office of Pupil Services in advance at 570-424-8500 x10704 and leave a message. Everyone must use the main entrance and sign in.
Q: Are student registration appointments cancelled?
A: Yes. All school meetings and activities, including student registration have been cancelled through March 27, 2020. Appointments will be rescheduled when schools reopen.
Q: Can multiple school lunches be picked up by one person for community distribution?
A: Yes. Please contact Food Services at 570-424-8500 x10530 to make such arrangements.
Q: Are students who are over the age of 18 eligible for a FREE lunch?
A: Yes, all students, regardless of age and all persons 18 and younger are eligible.
Q: Will employees get paid during the closure?
A: The administration is working closely with the Board of Education and the respective collective bargain units. Information regarding the district’s employee compensation plan will be distributed through the Human Resources Department once it is finalized.
MARCH 15, 2020
Q: Will there be school lunches available to those 18 years of age and younger like there are during the Summer months?
A: Yes! The East Stroudsburg Area School District! will distribute FREE grab-and-go school lunches for those 18 years of age and younger between 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM at both North and South High Schools and at Middle Smithfield Elementary, every weekday, Monday through Friday, starting Monday, March 16.
MARCH 13, 2020
Q: What is the school district’s response plan?
A: The school district has created a Tiered Pandemic Mitigation and Response Plan Summary, which highlights the key features of the district’s progressive action plan. This document will be updated as necessary.
*** THE GOVERNOR’S ORDER HAS PLACED US AT A TIER 4 RESPONSE ***
Q: Are the SATs cancelled tomorrow, Saturday, March 14?
A: Yes. High School principals sent a message via BlackboardConnect to ESASD students.
MARCH 12, 2020
Q: What is Coronavirus or COVID-19?
A: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
To learn which populations are most vulnerable and access current information on the Coronavirus, you can visit Pennsylvania Department of Health website.
Q: What precautions is the East Stroudsburg Area School District taking?
A: In addition to the regular cleaning schedule, we are also:
We are grateful to our staff for working hard to protect our district community.
We encourage you to partner with us and reinforce these healthy practices at home.
Q: How can I protect myself from Coronavirus at school?
A: The Department of Health strongly recommends the above-mentioned steps. Should anyone choose to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), please keep in mind that it must reasonably comply with our Dress and Grooming policy and not present a safety hazard to the individual or others.
Q: Will ESASD schools close?
A: As of March 11, 2020, there have been several presumptive cases of Coronavirus reported in Monroe County but according to the Department of Health, there is no community spread detected in Pennsylvania.
As of today, schools will remain open unless directed to close by PEMA, the Department of Health, the Department of Education, or the Board of Education. Our primary goal is preserving the health and safety of our students and staff. To that end, decisions of temporary school dismissals will be considered on a day-by-day and school-by-school basis, in consultation with school district officials and state and local health officials.
Q: How will Coronavirus affect field trips, interscholastic athletic events and activities affected?
A: Decisions to cancel or postpone any event will be considered on an event-by-event basis, and in consultation with school district officials, PIAA, and state and local health officials. Parents/guardians may voluntarily withdraw from such trips at any time. Of course, refunds of any payments will be made if the school district cancels the trip.
Q: Will students be excused if they stay home?
A: Students will continue to be excused for any of the reasons listed in our Attendance policy if a note is received from the parent/guardian. Before deciding to keep a student home for other reasons parents are encouraged to first speak with their school counselor about attending the East Stroudsburg Area Cyber Academy (ESACA).